The past two decades have seen an improvement in Budapest restaurants — slimmer menus, inventive recipes, and healthier ingredients are gradually replacing the gut-busting fare of the communist era (there's still a long way to go). Note that many of the below places offer a weekday lunch prix fixe for a fraction of the regular prices. If you're curious about traditional Hungarian dishes, try these restaurants, too.
HILDA is a chic downtown restaurant on the increasingly fashionable Nádor Street, an area that has come to life as a growing number of tourists and international students from the nearby Central European University pass through. HILDA boasts a perfect curb appeal and Instagrammable interior: An oversized stained glass mosaic covers one of the walls in its entirety, and the bar is studded with dark blue, glazed Zsolnay ceramic tiles, the same brand that decorates the lobby of the Four Seasons around the corner from here.